Denver Gorilla Run

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Gorillas overtook the streets of Denver—again. It’s part of the Denver Gorilla Run, a furry 5k race that starts at the Wynkoop Brewery. For the 8th annual event over 1,200 participants went bananas by wearing a complete gorilla costume.  Each year the energy soars higher, the costumes become more elaborate and creative and the number of participants increases. Proceeds raise money for the Mountain Gorilla Conservation Fund, a Denver based non-profit devoted to saving Mountain Gorillas. In 1987 there were 248 mountain gorillas in the wild and that number is now inching in on 800.

Brewing up more fun is the Silverback Pale Ale, a beer recipe created especially for the race. The MGCF teams with Wynkoop brewery to make the Silverback Pale Ale and 50 % of the proceeds are donated to the MGCF.

The director of the event and of the MGCF, Frank Keesling, took over the work of his mother Ruth Keesling. She picked up where Diane Fosse left off after she was murdered in 1985. Ruth shows up every year for the fun in her gorilla suit and of course wearing bib number #1. Ruth help set up a veterinary center in 1986 and also helped establish a veterinary training program at Makerere University in Uganda that teaches locals how to take care of the primates.

Frank estimates over 90,000 dollars were raised in this year’s event. There are also races in Austin TX, and Edmonton, Alberta. By participating in next years run you are doing more than raising money and having a blast—your name will be entered to win a trip to South Africa a new facility in Rwanda built by the MGCF that studies how to prevent ape to human disease.

To go ape and register for next years race visit:


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